As the HR and L&D Manager at Remarkable I truly recognise that the success of our business relies wholly on the effectiveness of our people and providing a safe and healthy environment for them to flourish is an extremely important part of this. In fact, I would go as far to say it is ingrained in the values of who we are as an organisation.
As with many organisations, currently our employees are operating from home using our Microsoft Teams technology setup and will continue to do so for the time being. The official government guidance on plans for returning to the workplace continue to emerge, with several sets of sector specific guidance being rolled out as we speak. Keeping up with and adapting to these continually changing circumstances and government guidelines is challenging and like many other businesses, we are focused on navigating through all this new information as best we can. And let us remember none of us have ever been through this before!
This is where the importance of trust is crucial in continuing to deliver work as efficiently from home, as in the office as does ensuring our team have the right technology and resources in places to continue to be productive and engaged. We see this evolving situation as the ‘new reality’, as we continue to protect our people and our business. What has been encouraging is to see how resilient and adaptable our people have been as we face new challenges and seek to create opportunities and innovate to move the business forward.
Like many employers we need to plan now for what is likely to be staged return to the office environment as a workplace, whenever that time eventually comes. As England opens, we can learn from their experiences and take the positives of this to our own workplaces as we move through the proposed phased return albeit at a different pace.
At the heart of Remarkable’s return to work plan is our guiding principle, caring for our people and safeguarding their health and their well-being. We know already many will be concerned and anxious about being in the workplace or travelling to it. They will want to know that there is support for physical and mental health and what Remarkable’s current thinking is about flexible and remote working.
In order to keep our entire team informed (in what is a very unclear world) we regularly share high-level company information, after all well informed employees can make well informed decisions within their roles, and having these early stage adult conversations focused on trust is undoubtedly serving us well.
As an organisation we have created a ‘New Reality Working’ Survey which surveyed both working and furloughed employees and the richness of data and information that I have received from this survey has most certainly helped inform our ever evolving ‘return to work’ strategy. It has enabled us to truly understand the individual circumstances of all our employees rather than make assumptions about these and has also identified some innovative ideas around returning to the new reality that we had not even considered in our thinking. In conducting this survey, we have also got a really good handle on how our employees are feeling emotionally and not just practically about returning to new reality working. From a practical perspective we continue to plan for social distancing in our office environment, increased hygiene measures, flexible arrangements for those with caring responsibilities to name just a few of the many aspects of our return to work plan.
At the start of my blog I talked about the values of our organisation being ingrained in all we do and never has there been a truer word spoken. In fact, I would suggest that these have become even stronger guiding principles as we develop a ‘new reality working’ strategy that clearly demonstrates we care, we are responsible, and we make an impact.
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